Nov. 18, 2011
PITTSBURGH – Four players tallied double figures to help Pitt women’s basketball record a 65-59 victory over Loyola on Friday at the Petersen Events Center. The contest marked the third-annual School Day Promotion, drawing 5,031 middle and elementary school children from around the Pittsburgh area.
Sophomore Marquel Davis (Fredericksburg, Va.) had a career-high 17 points and five rebounds to lead the Panthers (2-1). Classmate Kyra Dunn (Sacramento, Calif.) registered her first career double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds. Sophomores Abby Dowd (Tipp City, Ohio) and Leeza Burdgess (Miami, Fla.) chipped in 11 points apiece.
Pitt led by as many as 21 points in the second half and collected 31 points off of Loyola turnovers – the most for a Panthers team since 2008.
After the Greyhounds jumped out to a 7-0 lead to start the game, the Panthers called a timeout to regroup. Pitt answered by scoring eight of the game’s next nine points to pull within one. Kiesel closed the run with back-to-back buckets in the paint, the last at the 14:43 mark of the first half.
Loyola moved ahead by three (16-13) on a 3-pointer from Nia Brown three possessions later, but that would be the last score for the visitors for over a six and a half minute span. The Panthers erupted on an 11-0 tear as Dowd had five and Burdgess contributed four over the spurt.
Pitt went into halftime with a 32-20 lead.
The Panthers struggled to start the second half, missing eight of their first 10 shots as the Greyhounds closed the gap to four at 38-34 with 13:04 remaining.
Davis took over offensively, scoring eight points in a 95 second span. After rattling a jumper in and around the rim, teammate Ashlee Anderson stole the Loyola inbounds and fed to Davis. She missed on the first attempt, but followed her shot to push the advantage back to double-digits at 46-45 at the 8:19 mark.
Ahead by 15, the Panthers continued the offensive dominance as a 6-0 run pushed the lead to 21 with 3:36 to go.
The Greyhounds made three consecutive field goals – two from behind the arc – and converted six-straight free throws to make it a single-digit game at 61-52 with 2:07 showing.
The lead dwindled to three late, but Pitt made 3-of-4 from the charity stripe in the final 26 seconds to secure the 65-59 win.
Dunn also finished the contest with six blocks, a Petersen Events Center record and the most for a Pitt player since Bettina Love in 2001 (6 blocks vs. Notre Dame, Feb. 7, 2001).
The Panthers will return to action on Sunday, Nov. 20, hosting Central Michigan at 12 p.m. at the Petersen Events Center.
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